October 29, 2013


Until recently members of our editorial staff took turns posting items on the Adventist Review’s Facebook page for a week at a time. Coincidentally, in 2012 I was asked to monitor our Facebook account during the weeks just prior to Easter and Christmas.

I know some Adventists see red every time they read the words “Easter” and “Christmas,” so I was careful not to use those words. Instead, I used terms such as “Christ’s death and resurrection,” and “Christ’s birth.” I know that Christ wasn’t likely born in December, and I know that pagan practices have been connected with both events.

Still, the vehemence of the posts from our “friends” who objected to the very notion that we should join other Christians in commemorating these significant events surprised me. The inference seemed to be: “Don’t call us Christians; we’re Adventists!”

I know some like to entertain the fantasy that our movement sprang out of some vacuum, and that before Seventh-day Adventists arrived, Christianity was apostate and infected with all kinds of pagan beliefs and practices. In fact, our movement is part of a progression of 2,000 years of Christian history—some good, some bad—that’s left us centuries of tradition (the good kind) from those who have faithfully transmitted “the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” (Jude 3).

I feel bad for Adventists whose fear of being deceived leads them to view fellow Christians only with suspicion and suggest that because they aren’t Adventists and they commemorate Christ’s birth and resurrection they’re somehow deceived.

In countries of the world in which Christianity is the predominant religion, the weeks leading up to the observance of Christ’s birth, His death, and His resurrection are prime opportunities to share our faith, not our fears.